Design Inspirations for Our New Dining Room

Dining Room Design Board | Classy Glam Living

When I saw the most recent sale of Get the Look of Downtown Loft  at One Kings Lane, my heart skipped a beat.  Not because of the items for sale, but the inspirational photos of the living and dining areas show a layout just like that of our new house!  The styling is impeccable - light walls as the background for statement art pieces, an elegantly furnished sitting area, and a traditional dining area with an abundance of natural light.  I think One Kings Lane just read my mind!

I've previously talked about how our living/ dining areas are adjacent to each other.  Here's the design board for our living room.  I'm hoping it'll be be loaded with natural light during the day, just like OKL's photos above.

Here is our furniture plan for the dining area, which is open to the living area, similar to the One Kings Lane photos above.  

Living Dining Layout | Classy Glam Living

The dining area is approximately 18' x 14', so our existing dining furniture will fit in nicely.  The left side of the dining room will look similar to our previous dining room, where the console table and mirror are placed against the wall.

Dining Room Setting | Classy Glam Living

However, not everything decor-wise will remain the same at the new house.  Afterall, moving into another house is the best time to try something new!  

Wall Treatment

The trim-crazy Mr. will no doubt still want to have trims done for the living and dining areas.  This time around, instead of a chair rail separating the upper and lower walls, the wainscoting will be from floor to ceiling.  The chair rail draws the eyes along the walls, and is more approriate for a large space.  With our smaller ground floor at the new house, we want to lead the eyes upwards and that can be achieved by a full floor to ceiling wainscoting.

The style of the wainscoting will be built out, rather than installing rectangular frames on the walls like we did for our previous dining room.  We used a similar built-out effect on our kitchen island.  We like the minimalist look of inset frames, while the architectural detailing still gives the area an elegant feeling.






With the living and dining areas being open to each other in a smaller area, we would like to go with less heavy fabrics for draperies.  A softer look helps to open up the space, while still looking elegant.  I went from considering the extreme of a sheers-only look...



... to a sheer on sheer look...

... and then I saw this set of gorgeous linen drapes.  Linen still has the light and airy feeling I'm opting for, but it has a slight weight to it that gathers nicely with French pleats.  Pair the panels with some nice rods, and we've got a winner!


I had been searching for the longest time for the right dining room lighting fixture at our previous house.  At the new house, look no more!  We took our chandeliers above the kitchen island with us, and we'll put up the pair above the dining table!  That'll for sure be a statement piece of jewelry for the dining room!  This is my attempt to visualize the look =)

Dining Room with 2 Chandeliers | Classy Glam Living


At the right side of the dining room, we're planning to hang a statement art piece that measures around 4'H x 3'W.  We can leave that wall as is, but it will look too bare.  Putting an armchair at the corner with a sidetable would fill up the space nicely, while creating an extra sitting nook...  for someone ready to jump to help with dinner, or someone anxiously waiting to nab at food coming out of the kitchen (aka me)..


In place of the armchair at the corner, we originally thought that would be an excellent spot for a barcart.  Since we already have a console table, I think making it into a bar area looks just as attractive, similar to this look:


Ahhhhh, the dining room rug.  The search for it seems never-ending.  It's a similar situation as the dining room light fixture.  Getting the bang for the buck on these investment pieces is just not an easy task, not to mention other factors that we need to consider.  From the rug size and style, to practicality like material and pile, it's been a long ride. We prefer rugs with a border, with a muted tone on tone pattern or neutral colours that are subtle against the statement art piece.  In short, we've (finally) narrowed down to these several looks. 

This pretty much wraps up the ground floor design of our new house.  "Small space, big living" is our new motto, and we'll achieve that with practical design of our home.  From our entryway, kitchen, living room, and now the dining room, we want to (and need to) utilize and enjoy all the space available.  We don't have the luxury of extra space for a "display only" living and dining "museum", though we'll design our space with luxurious touches that are also practical for everyday living.  

Practical design is also key when you have a kiddo who grabs any stick-like objects and starts playing floor hockey right then and there...


How to Hang Draperies - Not the Dollhouse Way

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

We were very happy that our builder wasn't stingy on their windows offerings.  Throughout our house, most of the windows are very generous in size.  Our living area on the ground floor faces west, so we always love to see an abundance of natural light pouring in from those large windows and patio doors, greeting us as we come home from work.  Large windows are naturally a focal point to any room - they're the first thing your eyes would find, being the brightest "object" in the room.  We knew then we should dress up our windows, and beautiful draperies always get the job done!

We chose a silk fabric for the family room for its lovely sheen, and a two-tone woven fabric for the living and dining area for a more formal ambiance.  We added a thick liner for a heavier look, as well as to block out the UV rays that may cause discolouration of the fabric.  I've to be honest, I was in it more for the look...  more waves/ folds in the fabric with weight makes the drapes more luxurious.  That was exactly what we were going for!

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

With large windows come privacy issues.  We definitely didn't want to put on a show for our neighbours, not that they would care to peek...  unless they're like me.  Anyhow, knowing there's always a "neighbourhood watchdog" out there, we went with sheers underneath the drapes.  It would still let light through during daytime, and would provide adequate privacy at night.  Again, the more folds, the more privacy the sheers would provide.  I think we went with 3 to 4x the width of the windows for the sheers.

Now comes the physically intensive part - hanging of the drapes.  Although our drapery company offered installation services for the drapes, we opted to install them ourselves...  nothing's too complicated for my Mr.!  

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

Conventional wisdom has it that hanging above and beyond the frames around 6" would make the windows appear larger.  However, we wanted to create an illusion of even taller windows than we have, so we carried the length of the drapes from the ground all the way up to the ceiling (minus enough room at the top for a future crown moulding project).  The higher you hang the drapes, the taller the windows would appear to be, as the eyes need to travel further upwards.  

It's also unnecessary to hang drapes constrained by the sides of the window frame.  If the side of a panel ends at the side of the window frame, it would block a lot of light through the window.  I guess the only exception would be if you're blessed with large and full wall-to-wall window.  We hung the drapes such that when open wide, the inner side of the curtain panel is at either side of the window frame, so we can get maximum light into the room.  

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

I totally enjoy the view of this red brick wall...  NOT!  I guess the builder thought it isn't much of a view facing a brick wall, so they installed a small window here on the side.  Well, then let me use this tiny window to demonstrate how to hang your drapes to bring in more light and create an illusion of a bigger window.

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

If we had hung the drapes close to the frames, the room would be darker, because much of the window is closed off to let light through.  

Just for fun, here is how the window would've looked if we had installed the drapes just around the frame.  Same drapes, but hung lower and closer together.

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

You see how all the light would be lost by hanging the drapes right around the window frame?  "OH, THE HORROR!" as the Mr. would proclaim!  I mean, it's not too bad if the purpose was to see as little of that red brick wall as possible.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the 2 hanging methods:  our way on the left, and the tiny dollhouse way on the right.    Having the drapes around the frame makes it look like a dollhouse's window - a definite "DONT" that windows with high ceilings should avoid. 

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

A more cost effective way to achieve height with store bought panels would be to add a band of extra fabric at the top or bottom of the panels.  This is a simple job that any seamstress can help with.  To add width, you can either sew panels together length-wise, or sew that extra band of fabric on the sides.  This is a great way to personalize your ready-hang panels!

And the finishing touch, a sparkly finial at the end of the rods.  It dressed up our windows with an elegant feel like a jewel, letting our windows shine like the stars that they are. 

Curtains Draperies Hanging | Classy Glam Living

Check around your house to see if you've hung your drapes to give your rooms proper incoming light.  Give yourself a pat on the back if you did!  If you haven't, see how you can play up this optical illusion at your windows!